Because each of us will experience some degree and frequency of affliction, the experience should not be wasted. Affliction is manifested in disease, heartache, selfishness, injustice, death, etc., and as long as we live on this side of heaven, it will be part of our life. What will we do with it?

The life of the apostle Paul was riddled by affliction—and much of it happened while he was doing God’s work. He went on a mission trip and the boat sank and he had to swim for his life. En route to another mission trip, he was robbed and then–when he finally arrived and was preaching–he was beaten and imprisoned. On the next mission trip he was stoned and left for dead. Paul’s afflictions were terrible–I mean can you imagine being stoned? Yet, he said: “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear…For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:12-14, 21) Paul’s boldness and unwavering faith during affliction continued the spiritual revolution which Jesus began at the dawn of the church age. He did not waste his affliction by feeling sorry for himself—he maximized the experience for God’s glory!

The greater challenge, the greater the opportunity to glorify God. When we desire to grow spiritually, we embrace the challenge! Our lives are meant for so much more than sitting on a couch. Our calling is more meaningful than any mortal pleasure! When we are close to God, affliction may be borne with His power. Sickness, poverty, pain, heartache and death are opportunities to glorify God and to let the whole world see our faith at work. As long as we’re alive, our life is a gift to give back to God!

From the book, “Essential Faith” Volume 2 available on Amazon by clicking HERE .

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